Sleep well, Sir John.
`Blessed be St. Enodoc, blessed be the wave,
Blessed be the springy turf we pray, pray to thee
Ask for our children all happy days you gave
To Ralph, Vasey, Alistair, Biddy, John and me.`
Yes, Sir John Betjeman`s centenary year...and his poem `Trebetherick` (extract above) conjures up images of blissfull childhood days spent with dear friends in the idyllic surroundings of that spectacular area of north Cornwall he loved so well.
Last year, we spent a memorable afternoon at St. Enodoc church and we sat next to the rather ornate headstone that marks Betjeman`s grave. As you can see from our photograph, the location looks out beyond the tamarisk trees that surround the churchyard to the estuary of the River Camel, with Stepper Point beyond. But it was in Trebetherick village that Betjeman finally made his home - in a house named Treen along Daymer Lane, which leads down to the estuary at Daymer Bay.
It`s not an easy place to find, lost as it is among the lanes between Polzeath and Rock, but we managed to find our way down Daymer Lane to the car park by the sea, from which we were able to walk through the village lanes, across the golf course, to this enchanting churchyard with its compelling views and timeless serenity. The church itself, with its twisted spire, was built here 700 years ago and was long buried in the sand; to keep the tithes, the parson and clerk came to service through the roof - then it was lost altogether but finally found again in the 19th century.
It seems a fitting place for one of England`s finest poets to rest in peace in the place he loved.
Sleep well, Sir John...and thank you for the inspiration for blessed St. Enodoc to enchant me too.